I always knew serious writing was in my future, once I had all my adventures out of the way. After being a photography major in college, I had a stable and was teaching horseback riding when the owner decided he wanted to use the property for something else. Suddenly, my timeline was massively compressed. What I thought I would do later in life, became what I would do right then.
I started in Young Adult books, one was made into a television movie and that got me thinking a bit of changing my life around again. I wrote another book and that got me into television which is very exciting and somewhat over-stimulating!
I was doing some non-fiction when the experiences that made up Bad Apple began. Life is full of surprises, twists and turns. You make plans and life has other ideas for you.
Bad Apple had two sources of inspiration. One was that I have a neighbor who presses apples into apple cider.
The other was the murder of an acquaintance and I was very involved in the aftermath. They thought I had to be a part of the crime since I called the police to say something was wrong. Like on television, I was brought into the police station, Mirandized, and questioned. At the same time, the murderer had been caught and was being questioned by the police elsewhere. He could have gotten away with it; it was a close thing.
I was fortunate that the police shared all their paperwork with me, the interviews and the investigation. This material and the fact that I had access to my friend’s house with all his possessions enabled me to piece together the history of my friend’s life as well as how the killer’s life intersected it.
It was a difficult process because you know that murdering someone is wrong but nothing is that simple. People have experiences and hurts from their past which cause them to react or behave in ways that hurt themselves and others.
Murdering someone is still wrong but sometimes events make people snap and they do something horrible. It becomes understandable even while being terrible.
After much time to reflect, I decided to write Bad Apple and show how like a bottle of spilled ink, one act of evil can spread through years and lifetimes, impacting many people as the darkness leaches outward in an ever widening pool but, ultimately, repair is very possible.
Life inspires me. In trying to tell a story, I’m trying to say something about the nature of life that perhaps the reader hasn’t experienced or understood yet.
Genre: Mature YA
Word Count: 39,000
Cover Artist: Photo by Aleshyn Andrei. Cover design by Barbara Morgenroth
“You tell and next time you won’t even be able to crawl away.”
Neal Marchal lived with this threat for the next eight years. When she finds her neighbor murdered, she knows who did it. The why is the secret the family has been keeping forever. The reminder to never reveal the secret is her limp.
She rebuilt her life and now Neal has everything to live for—music, performing and a growing affection for the young man who pulled her to safety.
Then Joe comes home. Neal knows Joe’s going to finish what he started 8 years ago because she told. But this time Neal vows the outcome will be different.
About the Author:
Barbara was born in New York City and but now lives somewhere else. By now, she thinks of herself as a country girl and knows more about gardening and animals than how to ride the subway.
Starting her career by writing tweens and YA books, (and did the cover photography for her first two books published by Atheneum so continuing to do the covers to her ebooks is predictable), she was actually aiming at the small screen. Television seemed like the perfect place for her even if she had no clue how to get there. Life is funny and often presents opportunities. Advice--Grab Them! Through a neighbor, Barbara wound up getting an introduction to a lower honcho at ABC and an audition to write for them. Her hopes were more than dashed, they were disintegrated, evaporated, demolished when ABC couldn't find a place for Barbara on General Hospital. (No Luke and Laura in her future!) To ease the crushing disappointment, Barbara wrote “In Real Life I'm Just Kate” about a 17 year old girl who becomes a star on a soap opera. That became an open sesame moment and shortly thereafter Barbara became the last headwriter for NBC's daytime serial, The Doctors, where she was ordered by the network to kill Alec Baldwin, shooting him not once but twice. With two different guns. From different directions.
Ah, good times.
You can read the book that started Barbara’s television career as the Kindle YA ebook, “Just Kate”, now with a substantial tweak because living life made her smarter.
You can also read about some could-be-hers-could-be-rumors experiences gleaned during Barbara’s stint in daytime television in the Kindle romantic comedy, In Under My Head. Barbara is a recipient of a Writers Guild of America Best Writing Award for her work on One Life To Live.
Whether you're looking for a Mature YA or a romantic comedy, Barbara has a book for you!